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Design Best Practices for Data Centers

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ASHRAE datacom equipment power trends and cooling applications.

Fig. 2. ASHRAE datacom equipment power trends and cooling applications. (Click image to enlarge.)

2N Design

Today's high density infrastructures require full 2N redundancy supported by uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), power distribution units (PDU) and automatic transfer switches (ATS) in order to meet the always-on requirement of the facility. A key challenge is managing the trade-offs between first cost, energy efficiency and maximum uptime, which can sometimes be competing goals. For example, a 2N cooling plant provides maximum uptime, but is capital intensive to build and operate. And, going green is only viable if it makes sense to the bottom line. Being in control of the infrastructure is a smart business decision that will help drive savings on energy and maintenance costs.

There is, of course, more to designing the optimum facility, but having a firm foundation for the energy and cooling systems will go a long way in the overall success of the design and function of the data center. As mentioned earlier, power analytics can be a major advantage in assuring high nines of uptime by predicting failures before they emerge thus paying for itself in short order. Armed with a solid design plan and incorporating new software tools that can help design and perform critical what-if scenarios, achieving more energy efficiency and higher facility uptime can now be quickly achieved.

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